Newton Drug Co-Seattle Washington-Poison Labels

SKU: VLC1012 $3.65 USD

Historic Overview

This wonderful collection of pharmacy labels is from the Newton Drug Company of Seattle, Washington. It features a great group of mostly poison labels with Skull & Crossbones including Sulphuric Acid (2.7” x 1.5”), Calomel (2.5” x 1.4”), Carbolic Acid (2.75” x 1.3”), Tinct. Iodine (2.6” x 1.65”), Nitric Acid (2.6” x 1.5”), and Aromatic Cascara (2.7” x 1.2”). Based on the telephone number of 3375, we think these labels date to the 1920s.


The Newton Drug Company opened for business in 1911, at 676 Jackson Street in Seattle, Washington. The proprietor of the drug store was Joe K. Imai. He operated this successful drug store for 30 years, when the start of World War II, in December of 1941, brought a tragic end to the store. Japanese American citizens who lived on the West Coast were forced by our government to move to "relocation camps" in other areas of the country. The Imai family was given a short time to sell their stock, and the store was closed. After the war, the Imai family returned to Seattle but did not reenter the drug store business. I found a photo of the drugstore taken in 1915 with five people in the doorway. It came from the University of Washington Libraries, Wing Luke Asian Museum.



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Schmidt's Castor Oil Label
This label is from Schmidt’s Drug Store in Springfield, Ohio, and measures 2.5” Wide x 1.6” High. Adam Schmidt immigrated to the United States form Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany in 1842 as a young boy of 19. He moved west and at 29 joined the business of C. A. Smith & Company in Springfield, Ohio. In 1885 Adam bought out the interests of his partners and continued the business under the name of Schmidt’s Drug Store. His son Albert came into the business around 1920. I don’t know when they closed, but traced the store being opened in the late 1940s. The store remained throughout the years in the same location it started, 63 West Main Street, Springfield, Ohio. I have found a great photo of Adam Schmidt behind the counter. You will notice the Schmidt Drug Store logo is very ornate with the clouds behind the name, eagle with wings spread, and the address in a banner. You don’t see many labels with this amount of detail. Castor oil is a vegetable oil that comes from the castor bean and is a clear to pale yellow liquid with almost no odor or taste. It is documented that castor oil was used in Egypt as far back as 1500 B.C. in facial oils and in oil lamps. Castor oil has been used medically in the U.S. from the 1800s for many disorders. Traveling medicine men would mix it with as much as 40% alcohol and sell it as a cure-all. The most common and frequent use of castor oil today is in the treatment of constipation since it acts as a laxative. It is also used in ointments and creams, as well as, a lubricant in industry.   WE GUARANTEE ALL LABELS TO BE AUTHENTIC AND AS DESCRIBED!
S-X Witch Hazel Vintage Label
This beautiful Witch hazel label was produced by Standard Witch Hazel Company of Essex, Connecticut, and branded S-X Witch Hazel. It measures 4.5” Tall x 2.8” Wide and features silhouettes of witches and cauldrons on a pink and green label that dates to the 1950s with the retailer added, probably in the 1960s. It was common practice for a company to brand the product and allow it to be sold by a retail vendor. In this case, the retailer was Long Island Barber Supply Company of Patchogue, Long Island, New York. Witch hazel is a shrub that resembles a cross between a gray birch and mountain laurel and grows extensively in northern forests. The name witch hazel was probably adopted by early New England settlers because the distinctive yellow blooms colored the woods around Halloween. The practice of steeping the twigs and leaves of the witch hazel plant originated with Connecticut's Native American population and produced a mild astringent which was used as a family remedy for a variety of minor ills including bruises and insect bites. Witch Hazel, unlike some snake oil remedies, actually works. It was difficult, however, to make a commercial success of Witch hazel because of the product's short shelf life. The first person to harness the commercial potential was Dr. Alvin F. Whittemore, in the early 1860s. The secret to the doctor's success was that by adding alcohol, he preserved the witch hazel, vastly increasing the product's shelf life. All future producers used this technique. WE GUARANTEE ALL LABELS TO BE AUTHENTIC AND AS DESCRIBED!

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